Author: Elizabeth Broman

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Capturing a Decade: Thérèse Bonney
Left: Paris, France, ca. 1925. Annual exhibition of the Primavera design department of Au Printemps department store.   Right: Paris, France, ca. 1926. Copper-color painted figure with necklace of diamonds and sapphires by Dusausoy and dress by Callot-Soeurs.          Born in upstate New York, Thérèse Bonney (1897-1978), was a photojournalist whose work reflected a wide variety of...
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer by Robert L. May : illustrations and pop-ups by Marion Guild. New York : Maxton Publishers, c1950. Smithsonian Libraries. qPZ8.3.M467 Ru 1950.
Rudolph Popping Through the Skies

What makes Pop-Ups POP??

wicker chair book
Weaving Willow into Wicker
Isn’t it wonderful to sit outside under a shady tree in a comfortable chair? Wicker furniture, cold drinks and a porch swing…heaven. I used to have a wicker armchair in my living room, bought at a junk store and treasured until it began squeaking with the slightest movement and my cats started turning it a pile...
Illustrations of iron architecture by Daniel Badger
Discover Architecture- Carry A Magnet!
On a long ago walking tour of downtown New York, I was charmed and mystified to see people pulling refrigerator magnets or little alphabet letters out of their pockets and having them cling to the deceptively ordinary front of a building! They stuck! This is the test of a cast iron building. The Library has in its...
Jan Christian Sepp, Icones lignorum exoticorum
If I were a carpenter
Title translation: A representation of Inland and Foreign Wood: As well Trees as [sic] Shrubs Which are Collected by the Lovers of Natural History in Their Cabinets of Natural Curiosities for Use and Pleasure. According to Their Inward Properties and Natural  Colors  … In a page headlined Advertisement, Sepp says this book is for “Kings,...
Vases with portraits of Lenin and other Communist leaders
Back in the USSR
This extremely rare trade catalog from 1940, in the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum Library, represents the output of 10 state-owned ceramics factories from all over the Ukraine in small towns and villages after industry was nationalized in 1918. Katalog farforu faiansu i maĭoliky  is a primary source document for studying the decorative arts, material culture, and political...
Sample pages of dyed ostrich feathers
Polychromed Plumes
During the last quarter of the 19th century, feather decoration for hats, fans, and boas was at its peak; in 1886, 77% of women’s hats were decorated with feathers and a milliner’s window had a display of colorful ostrich tips and plumes. They were used not only on hats, but were also used in trimming...
Mexican print with deities
Lost Tribes
As an undergraduate at Oxford University, Irish antiquarian Lord Kingsborough (1795-1837) became fascinated by the Bodleian Library’s collection of Mesoamerican codices. These vividly illustrated manuscripts painted on animal hide or tree bark were created in the 15th and early 16th by the scribes and priests of Mexico and Central America chronicling the histories, religious beliefs,...
black and white photograph of grand palais
I Wish I Had Been There!!
Between 1909 and 1948, the Grand Palais near the Champs-Elysées in Paris featured  remarkable decorative interiors which housed automotive, aeronautical and many other types of trade shows. For the buildings and other structures of the Paris Colonial Exposition of 1931, decorative lighting helped create a unity among the diverse architectures. The splendor of these temporary...